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Antitrust Today

King Pharmaceuticals Hit With Antitrust Headaches Over Its Muscle Relaxant, Skelaxin

Posted  01/13/12
King Pharmaceuticals Inc. begins the new year with another antitrust headache caused by a class action complaint brought in federal court in the Eastern District of Tennessee by two pharmacies alleging that it has unlawfully conspired to suppress competition to its muscle relaxant, Skelaxin. According to the complaint in Johnson's Village Pharmacy, Inc. et al. v. King Pharmaceuticals, Inc., King Pharmaceuticals...

U.S. Agriculture Competition Rules Get Meat Axed By Industry And Congressional Pressure

Posted  01/11/12
Pressure from the U.S. meat industry and Congress has succeeded in trimming new competition rules designed to help farmers contained in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (“USDA”) final regulations for the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (“GIPSA”). The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the “2008 Farm Bill”) required the USDA to promulgate new, and clarify existing,...

Thomson Reuters Offers Settlement In RIC Investigation

Posted  01/3/12
Thomson Reuters, the worldwide provider of business and financial information, has offered to settle an EU antitrust probe.  The two-year old investigation is focused on the company's system of requiring customers to use Reuters Instrument Codes (RICs) to access financial data.  The codes are used to identify financial instruments and indices for which a consumer wants to retrieve data. The European Commission...

State-Action Stops FTC Appeal To Enjoin Hospital Acquisition

Posted  01/2/12
The Eleventh Circuit recently affirmed the decision of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia to dismiss the FTC’s antitrust challenge to the proposed acquisition of Palmyra Park Hospital, Inc. (“Palmyra”) and the subsequent lease of Palmyra to Phoebe Putney Health System, Inc. (“PPHS”) or one of its subsidiaries.  As the district court did, the Eleventh Circuit predicated its decision...

Got Cert? These Northeast Dairy Farmers Don't – Not Yet, Anyway

Posted  12/29/11
On December 9, Chief Judge Christina Reiss of the District of Vermont denied the plaintiff dairy farmers' motion for class certification in Allen v. Dairy Farmers of America, Inc., 2011 WL 6148678 (D. Vt. Dec. 9, 2011).  However, Judge Reiss invited plaintiffs to renew their motion after addressing issues with their expert report. Plaintiffs are New York and Vermont dairy farmers.  Defendants are Dairy Farmers of...

Aetna Follows DOJ’s Lead And Files Antitrust Complaint Against Blue Cross Blue Shield

Posted  12/28/11
Health insurance giant Aetna, Inc. has filed a complaint in a Michigan federal district court claiming that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has engaged in a scheme to force Aetna to pay more for hospital services as part of a campaign to limit or reduce Aetna’s presence in Michigan.  The complaint, filed on December 6, 2011, comes just over a year after the U.S. Department of Justice and the state of Michigan...

Smartphone Patent Wars Spreading Around The World

Posted  12/23/11
Right now, the smartphone patent wars are raging across the globe. For example, Apple recently prevailed in a skirmish before the International Trade Commission that could theoretically stop the importation into the United States of all smartphones based on Google’s Android mobile operating system.  In Germany, Motorola Mobility, which Google is in the process of acquiring, won a victory against Apple for patent...

Horizon Lines Settles Remaining Claims In Shipping Antitrust Action

Posted  12/14/11
Horizon Lines Inc., one of the largest ocean shipping companies in the United States, has entered into a $13.75 million settlement agreement with a group of shippers who had opted out of a class action against the company. The shippers alleged that Horizon entered into a conspiracy with other carriers, including Sea Star Line, Crowley Maritime Corp. and Trailer Bridge Inc., to fix prices by increasing their rates...

Federal Court Authorizes Plaintiffs To Tune Into iPod Antitrust Class Action Against Apple

Posted  12/12/11
Federal Judge James Ware of the Northern District of California has certified a class of iPod purchasers, allowing an antitrust class action to proceed against Apple Computer, Inc. (“Apple”). The plaintiffs in The Apple iPod iTunes Antitrust Litigation contend that Apple violated state and federal antitrust laws by monopolizing markets for digital music downloads and portable digital media players, excluding...

Delaware Judge Approves $89 Million Sweetener To Settle Del Monte Shareholder Suit

Posted  12/9/11
Delaware Judge J. Travis Laster has approved a settlement requiring Del Monte Corp. and Barclays Capital Inc. to pay $89.4 million to Del Monte shareholders to resolve claims relating to the March 2011 acquisition of Del Monte by funds affiliated with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P., Vestar Capital Partners, and Centerview Partners. Under the terms of the March 2011 sale of Del Monte, shareholders were entitled...
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